The Benefits of an Active Shelf Life

I’m a reader. Not just a reader. I’m a “must read the list of suggested books from my local library or online resource” type reader. Don’t try to limit me to only one genre. I’m interested in everything from books about local history to ghost stories to modern thrillers to classic tales. I will, on occasion, explore the works of foreign authors from diverse backgrounds. Why do I read everything I can get my little mittens on? I’m a reader, because I’m a learner.

The Benefits of Being a Reader:

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  • Reading is exercise for the mind – Your brain needs fresh knowledge to grow. Don’t stop learning just because you become an “adult.” Growth is essential for everyone regardless of age.
  • A well-read brain is a healthy brain, especially as we age – Staying active is important for a healthy body. Your brain ages too. Learning new things can help keep your mind sharp.
  • Reading promotes imagination – Movies, TV and video games are entertaining, but someone else is doing the imagining for you. Reading a book offers plots and descriptions of the author’s story scenes, but it’s your imagination building the world as you see it. You take away inspiration, encouragement and knowledge gleaned from what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye.

Read Often. Learn as Much as Possible. Share Your Knowledge.

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Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well

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What Tales of Terror Are on Your Book Shelf?

The Spooky Season is upon us! It’s time for warm cider, pumpkin cookies and scary stories. Whether you indulge your ravenous appetite for ghosts and ghouls on the screen or in hard copy print, nothing is better than being captured in the pages of a book.

Looking for some “scare the pants right off you” ideas? Here are a few great places to check for suggested reading:

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Goodreads Lists– Here you can find a list of reader favorites for every genre. Try Horror and Paranormal in October for perfect Spooky Season suggestions.

Horror Writers Association– Why not look to the experts at Horror.org? As a member of HWA, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of these gifted authors. You may recognize some of the Bram Stoker Award Winners on their website.

Grab a book or better yet, let a book grab you!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

And They Call It Book Love

Running my fingers across the rows of shiny spines, I slowly slide one out of its place among the other tantalizing covers. The aroma of recently cut paper and new print fills my senses. I absorb the words stretching across the back. Heart racing, I wonder what type of adventure this book will take on.

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Sorry Romance fans. Love is fleeting. Book Love is forever. Think about it. Whether you’re two or one hundred and two, a good story is always one of life’s greatest pleasures.

How to Find Your Next Love

Book Stores – Ask for staff recommendations

Goodreads.com – Check out their Listopia section with recommendations by readers just like you

Best Seller Lists – Amazon and B&N both have Best Seller Lists. I’ll be honest. I rarely pick from the best seller lists, because they distract from other (and possibly better) books

BookBub and Riffle – Books on these sites are vetted pretty well. And they feature the ones on sale. Big bonus!

Word of Mouth – Book clubs or Goodread Groups are a great way to discuss what others are reading

What I’m Reading Right Now:

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

 

Books, Banter and Booze

The Book Bar Denver is an indie bookstore offering wine, killer coffee and books. Three of my favorite things in one place! They also host amazing local author events. Visit during one of the happy hours and talk books with the authors who wrote them.  Fun, right? I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s fun for the author too. We love meeting readers like you.

I’ll be joining two other Colorado authors on February 10th from 5pm to 6pm at the Book Bar. Stop by for a glass of happy juice. Let’s talk books!

Support Your Local Indie Bookstore!

Shameless Self-promoting Spotlight

Spotlight: The Obsidian Gates – latest book in C.R. Richards’ Heart of the Warrior Series

Available on Kindle Jan 26th

A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale continues. A new covenant has been forged in the chaos of war. Its price is nothing less than the Bearer of the Lion Ring’s soul.

The rivalry for dominance over the continent of Andara has taken a dark turn. Eternal enemies – the Jalora and the Sarcion – pit their forces against one another in bloody battle. Good weakens, betrayed by the very humans it has sworn to protect. Valdeon, its stronghold on Andara, falls to sword and flame. The fires of its destruction are set alight by barbaric invaders from across the sea. Their brutal hand conquers the land in a night, exiling the Lords of Valdeon – Sacred Guard of the Covenant. Cut off from the center of their power, the Jalora’s greatest heroes are helpless to defend their homeland.

Hope still lingers. Seth D’Antoiné, Bearer of the Lion Ring, journeys to the great Obsidian Citadel seeking a magical relic, the Book of Ancients. Its power could hold the key to Andara’s defense. He alone can open its pages, sparking the magic into life and restoring the Jalora’s waning power. Finding the book won’t be easy. Elusive Obsidian Gates – appearing and then vanishing again by their own will – keep the secret of the book’s location well hidden.

In the depths of the mountain fortress, he finds treachery and intrigue hiding within its walls. Can Seth open the Book of Ancients before the Sarcion’s men find him? Or will the power of Good leave the land forever? Andara’s future awaits behind the Obsidian Gates…

Praise For The Book:

“The Obsidian Gates (Heart of the Warrior Book Two), by C.R. Richards, is a gripping tale of courage and sacrifice as the men who have sworn to save their land Andara battle the evil forces intent upon gaining command of it. The appealing, vividly-drawn characters struggle to overcome centuries of political intrigue as well as mysterious powers arrayed against them. In this sequel to The Lords of Valdeon, (Heart of the Warrior Book One) the award-winning Richards continues this sweeping adventure in breathtaking style.” –Yvonne Montgomery, author of the Wisdom Court Books, Edge of the ShadowA Signal ShownAll in Bad Time

Trust, betrayal, intrigue — The Obsidian Gates is an epic adventure of good versus evil in an imaginative and colorful world. My only disappointment was reading the words “The End.” – Wendy Terrien International bestselling author of The Rampart Guards

 

 

Resisting Time Wasters and Other Distractions

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I have a special gift. My creative brain is a master at dreaming up excuses NOT to write. Something about an underdeveloped outline sends my thoughts drifting. My intentions on meeting those daily writing goals are good. I just space off every once in a while.

Time wasters and distractions are the devil. These seemingly harmless saboteurs keep you from meeting your small goals. Miss those small goals and ultimately risk failing to achieve your dream. Avoid these saboteurs at all costs! Well – until you’ve finished your work anyway. Everybody needs some down time to relax.

Common Time Wasters:

  • Visual Enticements – Netflix, Hulu and You Tube
  • Mental Wastelands – Reality TV, FB, Twitter and other social media sites
  • Emotional Swamps – Gossip, office and other politics, participating in drama when you should be writing

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See those little devil horns and pitch forks? Ignoring them is hard, but necessary. Here are a few steps to help you stay focused. Full Disclosure: I’m not always successful at ignoring my own little devils. We all have moments of laziness or lack of commitment. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail. Try again tomorrow. Do better.

Waste Busters:

  • Plan daily goals
  • Set a time each day to work
  • Make a commitment to honor the promises you make to yourself
  • TURN OFF THE TV and STAY OFF THE INTERNET while you are supposed to be working

Are You Sharing Your Truth?

Writers are given a sacred trust to share the truths we are given. Do we decide what those truths are? Nope. And sometimes it gets very uncomfortable putting our sacred trust out there. Not everyone wants to hear the truth.

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I’ll share one of my ultimate truths with you now: Words have power. They are neither good nor evil. Words are tools in the hand of the person who chooses to use them.  Intent is everything. This is why writers must be careful about how they use their words. Are you sending out messages that inspire and encourage? Or are you spreading falsehoods and hatred?

Words are ideas. They have the power to change lives. Use them wisely.

In this special season, I want to share a quote (and modernize it a bit to fit our world today)

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Peace on Earth. Good will toward ALL men, women, children, animals and most especially – our home, Earth.

From me and mine to you and yours,

Best Wishes for Peace, Hope and Joy

C.R. Richards